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There is more encouraging news for Ontario job shops looking to improve their abilities in serving the province’s automotive sector.

The Ontario government is investing another $12 million as it pushes ahead with its plan to boost the competitiveness of its auto parts suppliers and position the province as a North American hub for building the next generation of electric vehicles.

The newly-announced investment is part of the province’s Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP). Funding awarded since the launch of O-AMP in 2019 has leveraged $22.2 million in industry investments.

O-AMP is a centrepiece of the recently launched Phase 2 of Driving Prosperity: The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector. The next phase of the 10-year plan will help Ontario’s auto sector pivot to producing the automotive technologies of the future, including the next generation of electric vehicles and the electric batteries those vehicles need, according to the provincial government.

“By helping Ontario-based companies grow in the globally competitive auto parts industry, O-AMP plays an integral part in the next phase of Driving Prosperity ― The Future of Ontario’s Automotive Sector,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “The auto and manufacturing sectors are cornerstones of Ontario’s economy, providing good jobs for local families and workers. Through O-AMP, our government is creating the right economic climate to encourage investment, innovation and growth.”

The program, according to the Ontario government, is designed to help make suppliers “better, stronger and faster by investing in technology adoption and/or training in lean manufacturing.” More than 100 projects are either underway or completed under the program, and they are expected to create about 613 new jobs.

Although the program has its share of critics – either as being too generous or not generous enough, depending on your political point of view – Fedeli says there are many examples of Ontario grant success stories among the province’s small manufacturers looking for an edge in serving the automotive market.

O-AMP supports manufacturing technology adoption, tools and technologies for new product development and/or adoption of lean manufacturing practices. Funding covers up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs up to $150,000, with recipient companies contributing the remainder. O-AMP applications must be submitted by 4:59 p.m. on January 4, 2022.

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